I got the cynicism blues....

First off, let me say that I am not by nature conspiratorially minded. I'm not one of those people who think birth control pills are a plot by pharmceutical companies to train young women to a life of pill-popping so that as they age, they'll think nothing of taking diet pills or Prozac.

But I must confess that when I head the news about the airplane-bomb plot thwarted by British intelligence, my very first thought was: "Hmmmmm........now was there really a plot, or did Bush and Blair cook this up as a way to bolster sagging support for the war in Iraq?"

After all, the timing was sure odd, coming as it did on the heels of Joe Lieberman's defeat in the Connecticut primary, a loss that news analysts are blaming on voter unrest over the ongoing war. See? I sound exactly like a conspiracy-loving crackpot. (Although let's face it: Karl Rove likely danced a jig when he heard the news. He surely LOVES the idea of a crackpot leftwinger running for office!)

To make matters worse, I've absolutely become a complete pessimist, and that really bothers me. As a rule, I'm generally optimistic. I assume that people are good and that things will work out. But right now, between this ungodly mess the Bush administration has created and the horrific war in Israel and Lebanon, and the ongoing misery that is Africa, well, for the past few years my optimism has slowly soured into a morass of pessimism bordering on despair.

And now I'm turning into a certifiable crackpot. But this sad state only indicates, I think, the extent to which conditions on planet earth have deteriorated since September 11, 2001. I can't think of anything more clearly designed to fuel anti-American hatred and terrorism than the Bush administration policies that are supposedly aimed at ending terrorism!

So once again, I gotta ask: Where will this end? Not well, I fear.